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Next Gen 2012: Hollywood's Fastest-Rising Stars

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    Next Gen
    Top 35
    Jessica Chou
    Jason Cunningham
    Paradigm, Talent Agent

    Not yet 30, Cunningham, 29, has been able to secure a stable of up-and-comers including Girls breakout Allison Williams (daughter of NBC News' Brian), Magic Mike leading lady Cody Horn (daughter of Disney Studios' Alan) and Breaking Bad's Matt Jones. The New York City-born Cunningham rounds out his portfolio with such veterans as Tony Danza.

    INDUSTRY MENTOR: Paradigm's Sarah Fargo. She teaches me something every day.

    BIG BREAK: When Sam Gores handed me a glass of Champagne and said, "You're an agent." I was shaking, but I didn't break the glass. [He began his career in the agency's mailroom.]

    CAREER INSPIRATION: Growing up in Astoria, N.Y., I was surrounded by so many artists and knew I wanted to work in the arts. In my late teens, I decided I wanted to be an agent -- a modern-day patron of the arts.

    10 YEARS AGO: I was in college at the University of South Florida in Tampa. I was a bartender at a Japanese steakhouse.

    ONLINE OBSESSION: ESPN.com. I have to see what's going on with my teams: the New York Mets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I haven't celebrated anything in years.

    LUNCH SPOT: I love La Scala at 12:45. I love the salad -- and avoiding the rush.

    BEST DAY: When I found out Cody got Magic Mike and when I found out Allison got Girls.

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